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Psychology: Searching

Subject Guide for Psychology

Reseach Question or Topic

How does sleep quality affect academic performance of college students?

Breakdown a research question into main ideas or keywords. The main keywords from this research question are highlighted in orange. These will be the keywords used when searching in a database.

The Boolean Operator AND

Use the AND operator to:

  • refine or narrow search results; less article results
  • all keywords in the search must be used in the search
  • Example: sleep AND academic performance AND college student

boolean operator AND


This is one way how we might search with our keywords from our research questions.

The Boolean Operator OR

Use the OR operator to:

  • increase article results; gives you more results
  • include synonyms or related keywords in search
  • use for acronyms: CBT OR cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Examples:

            GPA OR academic performance OR academic achievement                                                                                                  

             college student OR university student OR undergraduate

boolean OR example


By typing OR next to our keywords it allows us to include synonyms, related terms, and/or acronyms into our search based on our original keywords. This will increase the number of articles found in the results.

Boolean Operators Video